Robert Parker has said of Jean Thevenet:
These are the wines of a genius…Jean Thevenet makes the finest wines of the Maconnais region.”
He has also, repeatedly, compared these lavishly rich, full and concentrated Viré-Clessés to a top Batard-Montrachet, but at a tiny fraction the price.
In 2000, Thevenet acquired the domain of another Maconnais legend, his friend Henri Goyard upon Goyard’s retirement. From it, they make an incredibly reasonable for the quality Viré-Clessé that in many ways is at the other end of the stylistic spectrum from our old favorite, Bonhomme.
Where Bonhomme’s Viré-Clessé, with its tension and cut, could almost pass for a Chablis, the Thevenets embrace – and even enhance – the greater richness and ripeness their more Southerly climate allows. Thus very low yields from old selection massale Chardonnay, late harvests and long slow fermentations. But no oak and always a very vibrant natural acidity to balance the richness.